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One of the greatest players in major league history, Ken Griffey Jr., retired on Wednesday, ending a Hall of Fame 22-year career with the team he started it with, the Seattle Mariners. He also played with the Reds and White Sox.
Griffey retires with the fifth highest home run total (630) in baseball history, behind Barry Bonds*, Hank Aaron, Babe Ruth, and Willie Mays. (Like how I added an asterisk to Bonds?) He struggled this season, however, finishing with a .184 batting average, zero HRs, and seven RBIs. It sure was time to go.
His legendary career could have been even better, and he could have been the greatest player who ever lived if not for injuries. He spent 8.5 down seasons with the Reds, only hitting 30 or more HRs in three of those seasons. In a three year stretch from 2002-2004, Griffey only hit a total of 41 home runs in just 206 games.
Unfortunately, Griffey may be remembered in the short term for an incident earlier this season in which he was accused of sleeping during a game. He and manager Don Wakamatsu vehemently denied it, and tried to sweep it under the rug to no avail. In the long term however, Griffey should be remembered as one of the greatest center fielders in history.